Canary Wharf 'will pay all debts': Bank chairman takes an optimistic view

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THE CANARY Wharf development is certain to pay back all its debts to bank creditors, CS Holding, parent of Credit Suisse, said yesterday.

Speaking at the group's Canary Wharf offices, Rainer Gut, group chairman, said: 'Banks that are mortgage lenders on this project will not lose any money. It is only a matter of staying power.'

Acknowledging that CS Holding had made bad debt provisions against the development, to which it is thought to have lent about pounds 60m, Mr Gut said: 'I am sure that one day those provisions will be freed.'

By the end of this year Canary Wharf will be home to 90 per cent of CS Holding's London operations, employing 1,500 people, including the investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston, Credit Suisse Financial Products and the London branch of the Credit Suisse bank.

Speaking a day after a CS Holding board meeting at the development, Joseph Ackerman, president of the executive board, said there had been significant progress at Canary Wharf in recent months.

Most banks had agreed an overall solution. The project would be financed until it became self-supporting. This had been helped by a European Investment Bank loan, which secured the future of the Jubilee Line extension.

Other CS Holding directors also extolled the virtues of their new office building and said that initial opposition by staff had disappeared, while transport had proved much better than expected.

Mr Gut was in London to brief on a 5 per cent rise in group net profits to Sfr1.028bn ( pounds 440m).

He said plans to float the banking subsidiary Credit Suisse had been dropped as pressures on capital had eased. Early results 'augur well for the 1993 financial year,' he added, but bad debts were likely to be similar to last year's levels.